In 2005, Christopher Nolan took over a Batman franchise that had been hobbled by the campy stylings of Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. His initial entry, Batman Begins, featured an emphasis on realism and the dark psychology of the Batman character. In 2008, he improved on the formula with The Dark Knight, a fascinating look at the psychological codependence of Batman and his arch-nemesis, The Joker. With The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan is faced with the unenviable task of living up to the two previous films in the series as well as concluding the story arc that he’s constructed.
The third film begins eight years after the events in The Dark Knight. Batman hasn’t been seen since the death of former Gotham CIty District Attorney Harvey Dent. Dent’s passing has led to the creation of the Dent Act, a set of laws that’s made it much easier for the police in Gotham to put criminals in jail. As such, the city has become free of organized crime and the streets are now considerably safer than they were prior to Batman’s arrival.